Navy Chaplains can Continue Lawsuit

In what is probably the least reported, longest running lawsuit regarding religion and the US military, a group of chaplains has been told they can proceed with some, but not all, of their claims against the Navy.

A slightly changing group of chaplains, chaplain agencies, and churches sued more than 20 years ago alleging the Navy discriminates against non-liturgical denominations in the chaplaincy.

As summarized at the Religion Clause, the chaplains’ Establishment Clause claims were denied, but “various challenges to the Navy’s chaplaincy accession, retention, promotion and selective early retirement process, as well as challenges to alleged prejudice in the disciplinary system” were allowed to continue.

One comment

  • Back in 2001 the case stalled, and looked like it was going to go nowhere. At that time, both the chief of chaplains, Barry Black, and his Naval Reserve deputy, Darold Bigger, were Seventh-day Adventists. That seemed to be prima facie evidence contrary to the claim that non-liturgical chaplains couldn’t rise.